The clearest explanation of the problem with forgiveness – from my ACIM teacher @jenniferhelenhadley :
Who taught you how to forgive?
What did they teach you?
How did they teach you?
Most of us were taught forgiveness from our family. And many of those who taught us taught us that forgiveness means you’re tired of being upset, and you don’t want to torture yourself anymore, but you’re never going to forget what happened. But that’s not true forgiveness. That’s fantasy forgiveness. And without true forgiveness there’s no way you’ll ever feel free and be able to stop the suffering and move on.
In order to understand what true forgiveness is, it helps to understand what forgiveness is not.
Forgiveness isn’t saying “I forgive” and still holding onto your opinions about what happened the past.
Forgiveness isn’t saying that what happened is okay and you don’t mind that it happened.
Forgiveness isn’t opening yourself to further hurt and betrayal.
Forgiveness isn’t something you can do with your intellect.
Forgiveness isn’t pretending that what happened didn’t hurt, or bother you.
Forgiveness isn’t just keeping calm and carrying on.
And most especially, forgiveness isn’t looking at something devastating and destructive that happened, labeling it bad and horrible and then saying “I forgive.” That’s insanity. It’s false just like the little child who says “I hate you” to his parent, but doesn’t mean it for one second. They’re just upset with what happened, they feel attacked, and their interpretation of what happened (that they were were attacked) justifies their retaliation. That’s the immature, ignorant and painful way of the world.
True forgiveness isn’t labeling something bad and wrong and then saying “I forgive it.”
When you say “I forgive” and it still bothers you, then you know for sure that you are clinging to your interpretation of what occurred. We cling to our opinions and judgment, our labels of things because we made them. Again, this is what children do. They hold onto something so tightly and they project their interpretation onto every subsequent similar experience.
Cont. In comments